Ever since BLACKPINK’s debut in 2016, they have always been absent at the biggest Asian music awards MAMA. In fact, just like many other YG artists, BLACKPINK seemed to also rarely attend the year-end award shows of KPOP.
This fact not only upsets fans but also leads to some people believing that the girls were trying to be protagonists. However, things were actually in total contrast.
The first, and most recognizable reason, YG was said to have boycotted MAMA because they think this is not a fair show. YG even let G-Dragon sing a rap line mocking MAMA’s unfair awarding method right on the awards stage.
So, this was said to have pissed MAMA’s organizers off, which led to their later dislike of all YG’s artists, including BLACKPINK. People believe that MAMA gets revenge by rigging the awards shows to make sure that no artists from YG get the awards they deserve, so that’s mainly why YG didn’t let BLACKPINK attend this show.
About the unfairness MAMA has done to YG’s artists, take iKON for example. In 2018 where iKON’s name was everywhere on the Internet for their massive hit “Love Scenario”, they got nominated for the category Song of the year. Yet, MAMA eliminated them and gave the award to TWICE’s “What Is Love” instead. Maybe to compensate for such an evident bias, MAMA gave iKON the title “Best Vocal Performance” as a small comfort.
After this event, even a TWICE fan had to admit that the group didn’t deserve the title when putting “What Is Love” and “Love Scenario” on the scale. Also because of this, TWICE had to suffer nonsense hatred and criticism. Many other big fandoms were at TWICE’s throat, and the group’s Instagram was also full of hate comments.
In fact, it is believed that that wasn’t the first time MAMA played dirty on YG’s artists. On the last show night of MAMA 2017 week in Hong Kong, netizens were extremely triggered because of the way MAMA defamed YGE. During the performance of Jung Sewoon, photos of all girl groups that were nominated for “The best female group” in turn appeared on the screen and the audiences were shocked to see BlackPink’s faces being blurred out in red.
As a Kpop fan, maybe you all have known how much South Korean fear the color red. Because in Korean culture, when a person is deceased, their names will be written in red ink. Thus, such an act of MAMA showed nothing but a venomous intention towards BlackPink.
Though it remained unclear as to whether it was a technical issue or not, the fact that MAMA didn’t make convincing statements about it really makes netizens think they pulled that action on purpose. Many people believe that this was Mnet’s deliberate action to retaliate against YG for ‘gossip’ about their awarding method.
Now that totally makes sense why BLACKPINK never attend MAMA. In 2019, MAMA was held in Japan, the exact same day BlackPink held their concert. Many people think BlackPink did it on intention as a kind of war declaration to MAMA, and it worked: the number of BlackPink concert tickets outnumbered those of MAMA.
Then, in 2020, BLACKPINK once again didn’t attend MAMA because their schedule was filled with activities at another award show in China, Boom Boom Awards. This event was organized by QQ Music. Besides BLACKPINK, Hwasa from Mamamoo and SEVENTEEN also appeared at Boom Boom. Following the news, Blinks couldn’t hide their excitement as they believed it sent a strong statement to MAMA about the group’s stand on the past issue.
From here, we can see that the second reason for BLACKPINK’s absence in so many awards shows comes down to their busy schedule. In fact, besides MAMA, BLACKPINK also rarely shows up at other awards like AAA, APAN, Gaon Chart Music Awards, Golden Disc Awards, Melon Music Awards, and many many more. Just by looking at 2020, it’s already evident that BLACKPINK’s schedules were always packed, from being mentors at survival shows to preparing for the solo activities and promoting their album. As you can see, the list has already been quite long though I haven’t mentioned their photoshoots for magazines and activities in the fashion field.
The third and also final reason for BLACKPINK’s absence comes down to the uselessness of such awards shows. At the end of the day, many famous awards were rigged. Though it’s nice to have one to look good compared to other artists, in all seriousness, they don’t really matter. Look at the mentioned example of iKON and you will see, their award didn’t even say the smallest thing about how great their music and how great the public recognition was.
The leader of Epik High, Tablo, leaked the truth of this award ceremony. He said that the hosts would let the groups know in advance that they just received an award and ask them to come to perform, but if the group can’t come, the hosts would say, “Oops, that’s too bad then. Looks like the award isn’t for you anymore.”
The interesting thing is that, though BLACKPINK only attended year-end awards shows once in a blue moon, whenever seeing them at a show, be prepared to also see them getting some real big awards. In fact, even when BLACKPINK didn’t attend at all, they would still bring tons of precious titles home.
Though the girls have just appeared at 9 award shows: 2016 AAA, 2017 Gaon Chart Music, 2017 Seoul Music Awards, 2017 MAMA, 2018 Gayo Daejun, 2018 MMA, 2018 Seoul Music Award, 2018 Gaon Chart Music Awards, and 2019 Gaon Chart Music Awards, they have already been nominated for 202 titles and won 55 awards. Their performance at SBS Gayo Daejun in 2018 has also reached more than 200 million views on YouTube. Up to this point, this is still considered one of the most salient performances on the show.
However, for BlackPink’s habit of not going to year-end award shows, Blinks are always afraid that the girls will never get their hands on the noblest title of the KPOP industry: the Daesang award.
2020 has been a year where BLACKPINK managed to completely level up their image, changing from a hidden treasure of YG to one of the most active girl groups in the industry. Specifically, the girls had 3 comebacks this year: How You Like That (26/6), Ice Cream feat. Selena Gomez (28/8) and Lovesick Girls (2/10). Compared to just 1 in the previous 3 years, this is really a huge change. In the third promotion, the girls even went big to release the first-ever full album -“The Album.”
Maybe such changes were the results of YG’s listening to fans because Teddy Park once admitted that BLACKPINK was initially formed to be the girl group of “single smash, single hit”. Yet, since Blinks gradually wanted more and more of BLACKPINK, the producer believed that they needed to live up to fans’ expectations.
Continuously reaping successes on YouTube and other renowned digital music platforms: Spotify and Apple Music, BLACKPINK also break the record sales of “The Album” and reach the top 2 of the Billboard 200. Yet, despite the large number of precious awards achieved in 2020, they still haven’t had one of the most crucial factors making up many top KPOP groups: Daesang.
Daesang is always considered the most important award that literally all KPOP idols yearn for. Of course, BLACKPINK and Blinks also want to have one after four years of hard work.
Yet, after the two important shows were organized, the Soribada Best K-Music Awards and Asia Artist Award, it seemed like things didn’t go very well for BLACKPINK. At the Soridabad Best K-Music Awards 2020, only 1 Daesang was given to BTS and the other three equally salient titles also didn’t belong to BLACKPINK. Instead, they were awarded to Red Velvet, TWICE and Kang Daniel.
In the Asia Artist Awards 2020, though the probability of receiving a Daesang was way higher than that of the Soribada, with the condition that only those participating in the show would get such noble titles, it’s obvious that BLACKPINK would not get their hands on Daesang. In short, if the girls continue to be absent at year-end award shows, the high chances are they will never ever earn this noble title.
Though Blinks have never stopped showing their discontent at the way YG rarely lets BLACKPINK turn in at year-end award shows, things don’t seem to change any time soon. At the end of the day, BLACKPINK has just worked in the industry for 4 years, a not so short yet also haven’t long enough compared to other groups. Thus, they probably still need to show up at big events to show their professionalism.
Of course, it sounds completely nonsense to only award people that come to the show. Yet, since this is an implicit norm that could hardly be changed, at least for now, in the KPOP industry, the only way BLACKPINK could receive a Daesang is to attend these shows more frequently.
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